McCormick taught Conflict Resolution to various employee groups including teachers and support staff. In our ever changing society, many employees in education find they lack the skills to deal with the seemingly growing number of disruptive students. McCormick addressed these concerns with techniques for deescalating confrontations and equipping staff with physical skills they can employ should verbal techniques prove unsuccessful.
McCormick coupled conflict resolution skills with techniques to improve self-esteem. He instructed those re-entering the work force or teens who are seeking an alternative to traditional education and are placed on work experience.
Human Resources Community Services have utilized McCormick’s talents in training their staff in safe and effective means of dealing with potentially disruptive and physically aggressive mentally challenged clients. Often times the superior strength of some clients pose problems for smaller statured staff and the safety of both client and staff can not be met with verbal skills alone. McCormick has developed skills and techniques unique to this service industry which has enabled staff to meet the challenges and needs of their clients in a more efficient and effective manner.
McCormick is writing Kids First for parents to teach their children personal safety techniques. The following is an excerpt.
Prevention is the key to your child’s safety. You’ve encouraged open discussion regarding possible problems on the way to school. You are confident your child knows his route, alternatives, Block Parent locations and specifics to avoid. If even the best preventive measures still leave your child faced with a possible altercation, he has several alternatives available. One of the major causes of youth confrontation is verbal exchange. “What are you doing walking to school on my street, weirdo?” “What’s it to you, acid breath?” You’ve got it. Clash and someone loses.
It doesn’t have to be your child. In this example, prevention was exchanged for escalation. If your child refuses to get involved in the verbal exchange, often the altercation can be avoided. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” says Thumper. Sound advice from Bambi’s buddy.
A recent stabbing in a western city was the result of an exchange of words. Flipping the finger should be avoided as well.
If in walking her school route, your child notices a group of potential troublemakers ahead, she should safely cross the street and continue walking. If the trouble also crosses, then head for either a Block Parent house or a business or run. Avoiding and escaping are the objectives, not confrontation.
I discourage the carrying of dog repellent by anyone who has not been trained in its use and the attendant responsibilities. Facing an antagonist with one shoulder towards him, body turned slightly at an angle with leg/toes pointed slightly forward (right shoulder, right leg) is an ideal defensive position. If a book bag is carried of the left shoulder, it should be removed and held close to the chest with both hands in a protective manner. If a physical encounter becomes unavoidable, an older child can toss the bag as hard as possible at the potential attacker’s face, then flee. The bag’s contents are replaceable, injuries take time to heal. No bag? Your child’s hands can be cupped close to his chest with the same body position. If the aggressor reaches for the defender, the right hand –with fingers held tightly to each other –is thrust directly into the attacker’s eyes. Then the child should run.
Other chapters in Kids First deal with other prevention measures: child’s attire, safe school arrival, out and about with kids, school safety, dealing with strangers and related topics as well as specific physical skills for escaping. Look for Kids First to be published soon. Direct inquiries to McCormick at his e-mail address.